Seimaden Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, October 01, 2005
Translated by:Tony Ogasawara
Adapted by:Tony Ogasawara
What They Say
Blinded by his love for the beautiful Hilda, the demon king Laures fails to see a mutiny masterminded by his most trusted aide, who recruits an arch-demon with powers equal to the king's own. Meanwhile, the steadfast Roddrick still struggles to sort out what can be done to stop the destroyer of his people.
Seimaden surpasses its humble beginnings with frightful energy.
The first volume left off with Hilda reeling from the revelation that her savior, Laures, is no gentleman. In fact, Laures is neither gentle nor a man, if Roddrick, one of the last surviving Azelle, is to be believed. Roddrick has sworn to kill Laures, a demon he knows to be a vile slayer of innocents. But Hilda has no time to think about the truth, because her best friend, Cheryl, is deathly ill. Desperate for gold to send Cheryl to a modern hospice, Hilda accepts the invitation to dance for a rich Count with a sinister reputation.
In the meantime, Rabby - Roddrick's fellow Azelle orphan - makes some sinister plans of his own. He concocts a scheme to kill Hilda, who he sees as preventing Roddrick from fulfilling his destiny as Azelle's avenger. Coincidentally, Tetius - Laures' trusted servant - similarly frustrated by his master's infatuation with Hilda, frees his arch-nemesis, Lord Zadei - to plunder the mortal realm, kill Hilda and reawaken in Laures the desire to reclaim the Dark throne. And that's only the first half of the book! While many loose ends are tied, this volume lays the foundation for even more revelations and hints strongly at a powerful story.
Everything that worked well in the first volume - the great pacing, the memorable characters, the uncluttered layout - is repeated to even greater success here. Most importantly, Higuri's art steps up in detail and consistency. CMX treats us again to four full-color pages of eye candy. The only downside to a book jam-packed with backstories, subplots and a larger-than-usual cast is that some pages become overcrowded. In addition, the translation is not as strong and fails to retain Hilda's sassy personality and the sharper dialogue of the first volume.
But by and large, Higuri tells a solid story in very few pages by evolving a successful formula to include flashbacks and even a dash of humor. Thankfully, Hilda needs far less rescuing this time and even holds her own in a life-and-death situation. While the obsession with Hilda is rapidly outgrowing its usefulness as a plot device, it has led to tumultuous and surprising events. Seimaden manages to return bigger and better.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: CMX
Orientation: Right to Left